Mono Supervisors send letter of complaint on Verizon to PUC

monocourthouse2008As Verizon drags its feet on a broadband project for Crowley Lake and Swall Meadows, the Mono Supervisors will send a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission to ask that Verizon be penalized for failure to complete the project on time.

The Supervisors reasoned that the penalty should actually be some kind of benefit to nearby communities – such as broadband internet service for the community of Paradise or augmentation of cell service in Mammoth Lakes.

Last August the California Public Utilities Commission adopted a resolution which granted Verizon $286,398 for equipment to complete the internet service project for Crowley and Swall. The completion date was January 28th. Last week, Verizon asked for a twelve week extension.

In the first place, Verizon was ordered to provide service to Crowley and Swall as a penalty in lieu of a fine as a result of Verizon over-heading a fiber optic line within the Highway 395 Scenic Corridor without prior approval.

The Mono Supervisors’ letter says Verizon’s time extension request is unreasonable and should be denied. They wrote that residents have anticipated DSL service for eighteen months and relied on the finish date.

The Mono Board also gave permission to Praxis, the Digital 395 builders, to remove snow from Green Creek and Dunderberg Meadow roads to access vaults to install fiber optic cable before February 15th when Sage Grouse begin to nest there.

Mono Supervisor Vice Chair Larry Johnston said the Board also warned Praxis to follow the roads and do no damage on the way. They also asked Praxis to post signs that the roads are not open to the public.

And, as earlier announced, the Board selected Public Health Director Lynda Salcido as Acting County Administrator while they go through the process to choose an Interim CAO and finally a permanent administrator.

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